by Carrie Frederick Frost | ру́сский
Multiple petitions are offered for the fruitfulness of a couple’s union during an Orthodox marriage service, so many that a college friend characterized my wedding as a fertility rite. One such example: “That He will grant unto them the enjoyment of the blessing of children…let us pray to the Lord.”
Based on the sentiment that children are a blessing to be enjoyed that is expressed in the marriage service, one might assume that the Orthodox prayers said after the birth of a child are full of thanksgiving and rejoicing; the nuptial prayers have, after all, been answered. Instead, these qualities are noticeably lacking from the post-childbirth prayers that are part of the Orthodox Euchologion, the compendium of services: the First Day prayers (said soon after childbirth) and the Churching (for when the mother and child come to church the first time after childbirth). Continue Reading…
by Carrie Frederick Frost
History was made on February 17, 2017 when five women were consecrated deaconesses in the Orthodox Church. For many of us, this is a welcome but shocking development.
Speaking for myself, I expected the reintroduction of a female diaconate to occur in Greece, or elsewhere in Europe, or, even more likely, the United States; say, Pittsburgh. These are the places with multiple advocacy groups and a robust academic investigation into the history and pastoral function of the female diaconate.
Frankly, I anticipated—in a most unexamined way—the first Orthodox deaconess of our era would be white woman. (Let me pause and be clear, lest my readers be distracted: even though I am a white American woman advocating for the female diaconate, I have neither call nor desire to serve in this way.)
I now know that I suffered a serious failure of imagination. Continue Reading…
by Carrie Frederick Frost, Vigen Guroian, Jennifer Haddad Mosher, and Valerie G. Zahirsky
We wish to bring attention to one of the items not specifically included on the Great and Holy Council’s agenda or in its preconciliar documents: the restoration of communion between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Our group is comprised of three Orthodox Christians and one Armenian Orthodox Christian, and we eagerly anticipate the day our churches will once again be united with each other. Continue Reading…
by Carrie Frederick Frost, Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Teva Regule, Alexandra Lobas Safchuk, and Gayle E. Woloschak
As preparations continue for the Great and Holy Council set for Pentecost 2016, we eagerly look for the inclusion of women in the Council proceedings.
Voting delegations of the Great and Holy Council are exclusively comprised of hierarchs from each of the fourteen local autocephalous Orthodox Churches and are appointed by each of these Churches. Other participants, however, will be present at the Council.
Article 3 of the “Organization and Working Procedure of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church” document approved in Chambesy in January 2016, notes that, “The delegations may be accompanied by special consultants—clergy, monastics or laypeople—but their number cannot exceed six (6).” Continue Reading…